This past March marked the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan‘s landmark album Bringing It All Back Home, which contained his first electric recordings and the singles “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and “Maggie’s Farm.” Its album cover featured an intriguing photo, taken by Daniel Kramer, of the singer-songwriter holding a cat as a woman in red reclines in the background in the center of a blurry swirl. In anticipation of the release of the upcoming compilation, The Cutting Edge 1965–1966: The Bootleg Series Vol. 12, which contains session recordings from the album, PopSpots host Bob Egan made a mini-documentary that shows how and where the picture was taken.
Kramer got the shot on the estate of Albert Grossman, Dylan’s manager, who lived in Bearsville, New York. The photographer explains to Egan that he took 10 shots that day. As for why he picked the image that eventually graced Bringing It All Back Home’s sleeve, Kramer said it was “the only one in which the cat was looking at the lens.” The swirl around the photo was meant to represent the turning of the world and the turning of the record, at least to the photographer. He also explained that it was Dylan’s idea to situate his previous LP, Another Side of Bob Dylan, behind the woman — Albert’s wife, Sally — for a reason that remains personal to the singer-songwriter.
The film is the first in a series to chronicle Dylan’s cover art in association with the compilation. Documentaries about the covers of Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde — both of which will be anthologized on The Cutting Edge — will be released soon.
The Cutting Edge will come out on November 6th and present an authoritative look at Dylan’s early electric period. Notably, the box set, which will be available in two-disc and six-disc configurations and sports an extensive track list, will include alternate versions of “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Visions of Johanna.”